New Student Journalism Project Platforms Life and Legacy of Local Civil Rights Martyrs
Project launched Feb. 22, featuring the story of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 3, 2020) – WUCF TV, Central Florida’s PBS station, in collaboration with the Nicholson School of Communication and Media at University of Central Florida, is proud to announce the launch of The Road to Freedom Avenue – The Legacy of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, a student-produced multimedia journalism project spotlighting the story of the Moores, a Black married couple from Brevard County who became the first martyrs of the modern civil rights movement in 1951.
The Moores were educators and activists in Mims, Fla., with Harry Moore establishing the first NAACP chapter in the county. Their anti-racist efforts were not always well received, and on Christmas night 1951, their house was bombed by white supremacists while they slept, causing their untimely deaths. A replica of their home was built on their street, Freedom Avenue; several markers, a cultural complex museum, and many voices still carry their message today.
The story of their murders, while eventful, is not widely known among locals, something WUCF executive director Dr. Phil Hoffman said could be improved through storytelling projects like this one, that platform the voices of righteous justice.
"WUCF would not be fulfilling its role as Central Florida's Storytellers without using all possible resources to ensure that these community stories are not kept in the dark," Hoffman said. “During this time of racial reckoning in our country, we feel it most important to elevate the message of justice to help educate and engage our audience in this meaningful conversation."
Instructor of journalism at the UCF Nicholson School Rick Brunson said it all started with a Facebook post. Moved to tears after reading about the horrific racism and domestic terrorism under the color of law that gripped Central Florida in the 1940s and ‘50s, Brunson visited the Moore Cultural Complex in Mims to learn more and pay his respects. When he shared his experience on social media, Hoffman reached out and suggested this student project, and the rest, he said, is history.
"We are so grateful to Phil and WUCF for suggesting and fully supporting this partnership," Brunson said. "It was so gratifying for the students and such a privilege to honor the Moores’ legacy and the impact their lives continue to have on Central Florida and beyond."
To view and listen to the stories or to learn more about the Moore project and how to become involved, please visit wucf.org/community/themooreproject/.
About WUCF TV
WUCF TV is the sole-service PBS member station for the nearly 4 million Central Floridians across nine counties. WUCF is Central Florida’s storyteller, encouraging curiosity and learning through compelling content and community engagement. The station is community-supported public broadcasting from the University of Central Florida. Learn more at http://wucf.org/.
Andrea Dennis, Communications Manager, WUCF
Lillian M. Hernández Caraballo, Digital Media and Content Manager, WUCF